A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Fr Colin’s Cause — The Postulators and the Process

The Postulator General

The Postulator General of the Cause for Beatification of Jean-Claude Colin is Italian Marist, Fr Carlo Maria Schianchi.

After serving in a variety of ministries -- parish, missionary work in Latin-America, the formation of young Marists -- Fr Carlo Maria was appointed general archivist of the Fathers and Brothers of the Society of Mary in 1998.

In 2011 he was appointed Postulator General for the causes of saints of the Marist Fathers and Brothers.

Frs Carlo Maria Schianchi SM

Fr Bernard Thomasset SM

The Postulator is a representative of the community of the faithful, in this case of the Society of Mary, before the competent authority. He deals with the causes of beatification or canonisation before a diocesan tribunal or before the Congregation of the Causes of Saints of the Holy See, collaborating with them in the search for truth.

Practically speaking, the Postulator, with the help of experts, gathers and prepares all the documentation necessary for the diocese where a cause of beatification is opened. In the case of Fr Colin, the diocese was Lyons, France.

The Vice Postulator

Upon his designation by the Superior General of the Society of Mary, Fr Bernard Thomasset, a French Marist, was appointed as Vice Postulator of the Cause of Fr Colin by the Postulator General, Fr Carlo Maria Schianchi, in January 2013.

Fr Bernard’s task was to represent the Postulator General before the Lyons’ curia, the official body which governs the Archdiocese of Lyons, and other Church governing bodies in France, during the preliminary stages of the beatification process.

The documentation

The author of the biography, Jean-Claude Colin -- Reluctant Founder, Fr Justin Taylor SM

The documentation consists of
  a biography of the Servant of God which sets out the principal aspects of his virtues,
  the collected published and unpublished writings of the Servant of God, and
  if the writings show theological or historical problems, the Postulator submits these to experts in theology or history.

The process

The Postulator prepares a list of witnesses to present at the beginning of the process of the Cause. As well, he writes the request to the bishop for the introduction of the Cause, or its reopening, in the case where it was interrupted.

He follows the Cause with attention and dedication in its initial diocesan phase and later in its Roman phase.

The first step is to determine the reputation for holiness of the Servant of God and to ascertain whether or not he has lived the virtues heroically. This is followed by the writing of a positio -- a dossier. The dossier gathers together the testimonial and documentary proof, as well as evidence which contradicts doubts about the virtues of the Servant of God, the virtues being faith, hope, charity, justice, fortitude, temperance and prudence.

To complete the process, i.e. to arrive at the beatification, a miracle which has come about through the intercession of the Servant of God is necessary to prove his sanctity.

On to Rome

In mid-July this year, the historical investigation into the Cause of Fr Colin carried out over the past three years by expert historians and theologians in the Archdiocese of Lyons, concluded. Their report will now be forwarded to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints of the Holy See in Rome, to continue the process of the Cause.   

Source: jeanclaudecolin.org

Used with permission

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